Lebanon Reporter

Features

November 7, 2012

'Fiscal cliff' clock starts as election fades to background

WASHINGTON — After an election focused heavily on the economy and the soaring national debt, Washington will immediately turn to a year-end debate that has the potential to dramatically affect both: the looming "fiscal cliff."

Unless Congress acts by New Year's Eve, taxes will rise for nearly 90 percent of Americans on Jan. 2, and the White House will be forced to carry out nearly $100 billion in automatic cuts to the Pentagon and other agency budgets.

With neither party on track to take complete control of the White House, Senate and House, the fiscal cliff will require a compromise that has for the past two years eluded President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders. Failure to achieve consensus has the potential to throw the nation back into recession as households absorb a hit to their finances averaging $3,500.

"When we wake up Wednesday morning, the fiscal-cliff clocks will start," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "Hopefully, the fiscal cliff will be the excuse for the parties to start working together. Hopefully, it will provide the excuse and cover for both sides to come to the table."

During the campaign, Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney vowed to take very different approaches to the year-end convergence of expiring tax breaks and spending cuts.

As the campaign wound down, it became clear that Obama's reelection would set the stage for an epic battle over taxes and spending with potentially far-reaching consequences. Democrats said a freshly reelected Obama would draw a line in the sand over his demand for increasing tax rates for the wealthy. He would invite Republicans to acquiesce to this demand or risk taking the blame for a dangerous political gridlock, as they did during the 2011 battle over the federal debt limit.

Text Only
Features

Featured items
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide